18g vs 20g Nose Rings: Which One is Right for You?

18g vs 20g Nose Rings: Which One is Right for You?

18g vs 20g Nose Rings

In the vast universe of body jewelry, the gauge size can often lead to a tad of confusion, especially for folks just stepping foot into the fascinating world of piercings.

Among the myriad of queries we come across, the debate between an 18g and 20g nose ring stands out. What do these terms mean? How do they influence your piercing journey? Let’s dive in together to clear the fog!

Key Takeaways:

  • Gauge Size Matters: The gauge size in body jewelry refers to the thickness of the piece, with lower numbers indicating thicker jewelry. In nose rings, the two most common gauge sizes are 18g and 20g.
  • 18g Nose Rings: These are slightly thicker and are known for their bold look. They can promote better healing due to increased airflow and offer a variety of designs. However, their bold look might not be for everyone, and they can potentially cause some discomfort for piercing novices.
  • 20g Nose Rings: These are thinner and provide a more subtle and understated aesthetic. They are generally more comfortable and come in various styles. However, their subtlety might not be for those looking for a noticeable nose ring, and there could be minor healing issues due to their thinner size.
  • Comparing the Two: The main differences between 18g and 20g nose rings lie in their appearance, comfort level, and healing considerations.
  • Choosing the Right Gauge: The choice between an 18g and 20g nose ring ultimately depends on personal preference, comfort, lifestyle, and previous piercing history.
  • Aftercare is Essential: Regardless of gauge size, proper aftercare and regular cleaning are essential for maintaining a healthy piercing.

Shop: Double Hoop Nose Ring

Defining Gauge: What It Means in Jewelry

The Gauge System

In body jewelry parlance, the term ‘gauge’ points to the thickness of the jewelry piece, particularly the part that snuggles into your piercing. Here’s the quirky bit: a smaller gauge number corresponds to a thicker piece of jewelry. So, an 18g piece is thicker than its 20g counterpart. But how does this teeny bit of information influence your piercing?

What Gauge Means for Nose Rings

Choosing the right gauge for your nose ring can impact your comfort, healing period, and the overall aesthetics of your piercing. Let’s delve into the specifics of each gauge now, shall we?

18g Nose Rings:

18G Nose-Ring
18g Nose Rings – Image from Etsy


Bold and Noticeable:

With its slightly larger diameter, an 18g nose ring lends a bold, striking look. It’s an ideal pick for those wanting to make a statement with their piercing.

Promotes Healing:

An 18g nose ring is a fantastic choice for fresh piercings. The thicker diameter ensures good airflow, thereby reducing potential healing issues.

Variety of Designs:

The popularity of 18g nose rings means you’ll find a wide array of designs and materials to choose from.


Too Bold for Some:

The very quality that attracts some to 18g rings can deter others. Its bold look might be a bit too much for those seeking a more delicate appearance.

Potential Discomfort:

While not a universal experience, first-time piercing enthusiasts might find the thickness of an 18g ring slightly uncomfortable.

20g Nose Rings:

20g Nose Rings
20g Nose Rings – Image from Etsy

Now, as we shift our focus to the more subtle 20g nose rings, let’s shed light on the unique advantages they offer and any considerations to keep in mind.


Subtle and Understated:

For those seeking an elegant, less conspicuous look, a 20g nose ring is a perfect choice. Its thinner diameter ensures a delicate aesthetic.


20g nose rings are generally more comfortable, especially for those who are new to nose piercings or have a lower pain tolerance.


Given their popularity, 20g nose rings come in a variety of designs and materials, ensuring there’s something for everyone.


Less Noticeable:

Some might find the subtlety of a 20g ring less satisfying, especially if they’re aiming to make their nose piercing a focal point of their look.

Healing Considerations:

The thinner size could potentially lead to minor healing issues, like the ‘cheese cutter effect’, where the jewelry gradually cuts through the skin due to pressure over time.

Comparison: 18g vs 20g Nose Rings

18g vs 20g Nose Rings


The most apparent difference between the two lies in their appearance. An 18g nose ring, being thicker, makes for a more pronounced look, while a 20g ring offers a subtler aesthetic. Which one to choose depends on your personal preference.

Comfort and Wearability

20g rings are generally more comfortable, especially for those new to piercings or with lower pain tolerance. However, some might find the heft of an 18g ring reassuring and more secure. It all boils down to personal comfort levels.

Healing and Aftercare

The healing process might differ slightly based on the gauge size. An 18g nose ring, being thicker, often promotes better healing by facilitating proper airflow. On the other hand, a 20g nose ring, due to its thinner diameter, might lead to the ‘cheese cutter effect’ in some cases. This is why aftercare and regular cleaning are of paramount importance, regardless of the gauge size.

Pro Tip: Choosing between 18g and 20g nose rings involves more than aesthetics—it’s about comfort and lifestyle too. Consult a professional piercer if in doubt, and remember, good aftercare is key to a healthy, beautiful piercing, regardless of gauge size.

Choosing the Right Gauge for You

Deciding between an 18g and 20g nose ring isn’t a decision to be made lightly. It’s not just about what looks good, but also what feels good and fits your lifestyle.

Consider Your Piercing History

Have you had a nose piercing before? Did it heal properly, or did you encounter any issues? The answers to these questions can guide you in choosing the right gauge.

Factor in Your Lifestyle and Personal Style

Do you lead an active lifestyle? Are you looking for a nose ring that’s bold and makes a statement, or would you prefer something more understated? Your lifestyle and personal style should play a significant role in your decision.

More Related to Nose Jewelry:


Is a 20G nose ring bigger than an 18G?

No, a 20G nose ring is not bigger than an 18G. In fact, it’s the other way around. The ‘G’ here refers to the gauge, or the thickness of the nose ring. A lower gauge number indicates a thicker ring. So, an 18G nose ring is thicker (and hence, in a sense, ‘bigger’) than a 20G one.

Is 20G big for a nose piercing?

Not at all! A 20G nose ring is quite common for nose piercings. It’s actually on the thinner side when it comes to gauge sizes. This makes it a comfortable and subtle choice, especially for those who are new to nose piercings or prefer a less conspicuous look.

What is the most common nose ring size?

The most common nose ring sizes are 18G and 20G, with 20G being slightly more popular due to its subtle appearance and comfort. However, the right size for you depends on your personal preference and comfort.

Is 18 gauge good for nose ring?

Yes, an 18 gauge is a good size for a nose ring. It’s slightly thicker than a 20G, making it a bit more noticeable. An 18G nose ring can also promote better healing for new piercings due to its larger diameter allowing for improved airflow.

Is my piercing 18g or 20G?

To determine whether your piercing is 18G or 20G, you’ll need to check the thickness of your nose ring. Remember, an 18G ring is thicker than a 20G. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a professional piercer to accurately gauge your jewelry.

Will an 18 gauge fit normal piercing?

An 18G can indeed fit a standard nose piercing. However, the comfort and fit will depend on your individual piercing and how it has healed. It’s always a good idea to consult a professional piercer before switching to a different gauge to prevent any possible discomfort or damage to the piercing.

Can I switch between 18g and 20g nose rings?

Yes, you can, but it’s best to consult with a professional piercer to ensure you don’t cause any harm to your piercing.

Are there other gauge sizes available for nose rings?

Yes, there are, but 18g and 20g are the most commonly used and widely available.

Does the gauge size affect the healing process of a nose piercing?

Yes, it can. Thicker gauges like 18g often facilitate better healing due to increased airflow.

Do 18g nose rings hurt more than 20g?

This can depend on your individual pain tolerance. Generally, the difference in discomfort between the two sizes should be minimal.


Choosing between an 18g and 20g nose ring ultimately depends on your personal preference, comfort level, and lifestyle. Both offer distinct aesthetics and have their own sets of pros and cons. The right choice for you is the one that brings you joy, fits well, heals properly, and beautifully complements your style.

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